GOT IT MADE

RACHEL FORD REAPS WHAT SHE SEWS AT HER NEWLY EX­PANDED FASH­ION DE­SIGN STU­DIO.

Philadelphia Style - - Contents - BY MARNI PRICHARD MANKO

Rachel Ford reaps what she sews at her newly ex­panded fash­ion de­sign stu­dio.

When Opera Philadelphia and Free Peo­ple alum Rachel Ford started Made in 2012, the de­signer’s goal was to pro­vide con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion to Philly’s grow­ing fash­ion com­mu­nity. This year, the stu­dio re­launched as the Made In­sti­tute at a new Old City ad­dress but plans are al­ready un­der­way to move to an even larger Spring Arts space by fall.

How does the Made In­sti­tute dif­fer from a tra­di­tional fash­ion pro­gram? “We’re not a school; we of­fer a full-cir­cle ecosys­tem that pro­vides a high-level fash­ion ed­u­ca­tion, busi­ness com­mu­nity, and re­sources to emerg­ing de­sign­ers.” How has the fash­ion de­signer of today evolved? “In­stead of pur­su­ing a four-year de­gree and work­ing for a cor­po­rate fash­ion com­pany, de­sign­ers are com­ing from other fields, look­ing to make a mark of their own.” Talk about the busi­ness ed­u­ca­tion side. “We fo­cus on the en­tre­pre­neur­ial ex­pe­ri­ence, of­fer­ing classes that get de­sign­ers ready to launch. In ad­di­tion to tech­ni­cal knowl­edge, they’ll have web­sites, so­cial me­dia plat­forms, busi­ness cards, tech packs, prod­uct sam­ples, busi­ness li­censes, and busi­ness plans all be­fore our an­nual run­way show.” What niche do you think Made fills in the Philly fash­ion scene? “The only thing lack­ing in the Philly fash­ion scene was just that—the scene! So many de­sign­ers are work­ing in­de­pen­dently in their small stu­dios, feel­ing dis­con­nected from any sense of com­mu­nity and guid­ance. I want Made to con­nect the dots.” 305 Cherry St., 855-623-3745; made-in­sti­tute.com

“WE FO­CUS ON THE EN­TRE­PRE­NEUR­IAL EX­PE­RI­ENCE, OF­FER­ING CLASSES THAT GET DE­SIGN­ERS READY TO LAUNCH.” — RACHEL FORD

Later this year, Rachel Ford will move her Made In­sti­tute de­sign stu­dio to a per­ma­nent home in the Spring Arts District, com­plete with state- of- the- art ma­chin­ery and a new cowork­ing space.

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